Before the show in Lund Sweden I met up with mastermind and bandleader Mat Sinner from Primal Fear and we talked about Primal Fear among other things. We did the interview in the tourbus and I must say that Mat are one of the kindest stars I met so far and he kindly answered the questions I had during the limited time that I got.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Pics on Mat by: Anders Sandvall
Live pics taken from Anders Sandvall’s archives
Thanks to Hobbe at Sound Pollution for arranging this interview and providing me with promo pics.
Thanks to tour manager Achim Köhler for all the help at the show.
Last year you released DEVILS GROUND, what did the media and fans think about the CD?
We got great respond and we also got a hit with “Metal Is Forever” which is a song that every metal fan seems to like, the video to that song was also played world wide. It was the first album with Randy by the way.
How much touring did you guys do on that album?
We toured a lot even though it was a shaky situation to start with, we were supposed to tour with Iced Earth but they cancelled the tour even though the tickets were nearly were sold out. We also played on Wacken Road Show that we weren’t too pleased with because of the poor organisation. After that we toured a lot in the U.S. and we went to South America for the first time and the Mexican people was really crazy.
You have released almost one album a year since you started out back in 1998, do you think you’re going to keep that speed also in the future?
You never know, when we recorded this new album everything just flowed and we were in a really creative phase it would be bad to hold up everything only to release an album later.
You have had a few member changes throughout the years, are the line-up steady now?
You can never tell about those things, we have only gone through two changes for seven years which I’m really happy about. This is the second album with this line up and we are very happy with everything at the moment so I hope it stays that way in the future.
The Canadian drummer Randy Black joined the band in 2003, how is it to not have a native in the band ? What language do you talk between you guys, can he speak any German now?
We talk English between us in order to practice but Randy do understand German by now maybe because he has a German girlfriend.
Does Randy live in Germany now ? Where do the rest of the band live?
We live in Stuttgart that is the Primal Fear headquarter which is located in the southern parts of Germany near Munich, Randy lives in Frankfurt and flies to Stuttgart to rehearse, it’s very cheap to fly in Germany.
How would you describe what kind of music Primal fear plays?
It’s metal based on great guitar riffs, the new album is more open range with the use of an orchestra but basically it’s pure metal. I hate to put metal in different genres, we are all in the same metal community.
Where in the world do you have your biggest fanbase? is it in Germany?
Can’t really say actually because we have a lot of fans in South America and Japan as well as Europe. We played with Iron Maiden in Poland for the first time a while ago and it was amazing to hear 35 000 people screaming. Our new album landed on place 77 in the Swedish chart, it’s not so high but it’s on the chart so maybe we gain more fans in Sweden right now.
When did you have time to write your new CD “Seven seals” with thought of all the touring I mean?
The writing is an on-going process and we always write, everyone was part of the process this time so it was really nice and easy to write the album. If we had a week over Tom and me got together and wrote.
Why did you call the album “Seven seals” ? Does it mean anything special to you in the band?
It came when we wrote the lyrics, the music is a little darker and atmospheric with the orchestra and all and we thought that the title reflected the mood of the album. Originally Seven Seals is taken from the revelation in the book of John, not meaning that the band is Christian in any way, but the story was great and we thought it fit with the music.
You have an ability of writing really catchy and melodic but still it is heavy metal songs like “Metal is forever”. Do you think of and work hard with the structures of the songs to get that?
Every band has a different kind of talent and our is apparently that, it’s me and Ralf that comes up with melodies and the hooks but altogether we are all responsible for our sound.
This album is according to your bio your most varied one yet, what do you think?
Yeah, I think so because this time it didn’t matter how long the song were and it was a challenge to write for example a 9 minute song.
Have your read any reviews yet on the album, what have the media to say about it?
The have been fantastic and never better, we’ve been acclaimed as the band of the month from the biggest metal paper in Europe so that feels really good. We got 9 out of 10 points in Sweden Rock Magazine (a Swedish metal paper magazine) and that has never happened before.
Who did the cover artwork does it symbolise anything in particular and what do you think of it?
It was my idea so I have to like it ha, ha! We have always had covers with the eagle painted on it but because the change of mood in the music we wanted to feature the eagle in another way.
When I listen to “Seven Seals” I came to think that Ralf sings more in a lower register compared to what he did on the previous albums, is that a conscious move of him?
As I said earlier it all have to fit in with the darker music approach and to the melody line of the song so this time it was necessary for Ralf to sing more and scream less. I also sing a lot more on this album because of my voice fits better into the darker music and it was necessary to sing more and narrow down the screams.
Have you done any touring previous to the new album release? If so did you do any of the new songs then?
No the first show with the new songs was made in Stockholm.
You have used keyboards/strings and choirs a lot on the new CD, how come and does it work when you play live?
Technically it’s not a problem, but we can’t bring along a full orchestra on to the small stage tonight, you have to wait until tonight to see what we do.
Do you have any favourite song on the new one ? Which one and why.
Every song is my favourite, this albums is too important to me so I can’t focus on only one song.
You have produced all Primal fear albums, how come ? Is there any plans on hiring a producer in the future do you think?
I co-produced it this time with Charlie Bauerfeind and time will tell if we’re going to hire a produce.
You are now on tour as a support to Helloween how is that and how has it gone so far ? How long are you going to do this tour with them?
The latest info I got is that we’re going to tour with them in Europe and Japan until March. Our bands fits very well together, we play a similar kind of music and the fans are happy with this constellation.
What do you think of tonight show in Lund is this the first time you play in Lund or have you played here before?
No it’s the first time we play here and I had to watch the map to see where we are.
When this tour are over are you continue to tour next year is it going to be as headline or as support do you think?
After March we see what happens, maybe we’re going over to South America or the U.S. In the summer we will play at festivals here in Europe I think, we have already been offered festival shows during the summer.
What happening with your other band Sinner when you’re out with Primal fear?
As you can imagine there’s no time for that at the moment, I’m fully concentrated on Primal Fear right now.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers in metal-rules.com.
We’re very happy that you all liked the album so much and that it goes so well, thanks a lot for your support.
Thanks a lot for your time and good luck with the show tonight.
Thanks, it was a pleasure talking to you.
More info about the band